Pepperdine looks to rebound at Santa Clara


Pepperdine looks to bounce back at Santa Clara after a disappointing 59-71 loss at San Francisco Thursday night. With a win at BYU and a close loss to Gonzaga at home, the Waves are now tied with BYU for third place in the WCC with a 5-3 record.

If the Waves want to be a serious contender in the WCC this year, they need to take care of business at Santa Clara. The Broncos are just behind Pepperdine in fifth place at 4-4. A loss at Santa Clara would destroy Pepperdine’s already slim chances of getting an at-large NCAA Tournament bid, which is a place they haven’t been since 2002.

Pepperdine is averaging 43.3% from the field this year, so they will need to rely on their defense when their offense isn’t producing. The Waves are currently second in the country in three-point defense, behind Florida Atlantic. They allow their opponents to score just 25.1% of their shots behind the arc. This will force the Broncos to take more inside shots, which gives the Waves a bigger advantage.

Defense can only do so much though. Pepperdine has three players who average double figures, including Stacey Davis, Jett Raines, and Shawn Olden. When Pepperdine needs to score the most, they should turn to Davis. He leads the Waves in points, rebounds, blocks, and free-throw percentage. In order to get the road victory, Pepperdine will need him to be on top of his game.

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Santa Clara looks to upset Pepperdine and continue their three-game winning streak. While all hope is gone for the Broncos to have an at-large bid in the NCAA Tournament, Santa Clara will look to get a favorable seed in the WCC Tournament.

Like Pepperdine, Santa Clara does not shoot the ball particularly well, averaging 42.6% from the field. The Broncos also allow an average of 66 points per game. In order to get the upset, Santa Clara will rely on leading scorers Brandon Clark and Jared Brownridge. Clark averages 16.2 points per game, while Brownridge averages 14.5 per game.

Look for this game to be a low-scoring, physical battle that will either make it or break it for both teams. A lot is on the line, so expect each team to play with passion.

The game tips off at 7:00PM PST Saturday and can be seen on